Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Director: Brad Sykes
Writer: Brad Sykes
Starring Steve Railsback, Alexis Zibolis, Bobby James, Noelle Perris, Jared Michaels, Paige La Pierre, Erica Browne, Chad Nell, Stephanie Skewes, Maija Polsley and David P. Johnson
Science Fiction and horror has been a commingling that has worked very well since Alien in 1979 and Plaguers follows in that vein, but by doing a alien zombie story. It is a film that reminds me a lot of the New World cult classics like Galaxy of Terror and Inseminoid. It has the fun feel of a Roger Corman film, with the over the top gore and all the voluptuous women in the film. Though, unlike those classics there is not any rampant gratuitous nudity in the film and that is something a film like this really needs to make it more entertaining. The high point of the film though, has to be Railsback's performance as the ship's android, he hams it up really well and is fun as hell as always to watch. The film lets the gore and the fluids flow copiously in the film and what is hilarious is when the first female gets infected by the zombie virus she is covered in goo that looks too much like semen to not think that was the filmmaker's intent. The film has many veiled sexual references and that's what makes the film so much fun to watch. They knew they were making campy cult film and they went all out to bring that feeling to the viewers.
The plot basics are this, It is the far flung future, where space travel is a regular occurrence and the U.S.S. Pandora is retuning from a trip and they are carrying some ill gotten mineral that the crew hopes to make some quick profit on. While on the way back home, they receive a distress cal from the U.S.S. Diana and go to investigate. They rescue the 4 females left on the ship and they seem very shaken up, but it all turns out to be a ruse as they are all intergalactic pirates just waiting for someone to show up so they can plunder them. During a fight with one of the crew members Nola (Skewes) one of the pirates is infected by the ship's ill gotten gains and she is drenched in a glowing ooze and it transforms her into a rage filled zombie. She soon begins to infect others on the ship and then the crew of the ship and the pirates must work together to survive this horrible ordeal. But will they trust one another or will there be backstabbing aplenty as they get closer to earth and closer to ravaging mankind with this zombie epidemic?
This is a very campy and cheesy film, but it is very well done. The direction by Sykes really has that old school feel of films like Galaxina and Galaxy of Terror. The plot is set up quickly and it is not long before all hell breaks loose and that is where the mayhem and fun begins. He uses the long tunnels of the spaceship expertly and the entire location has a dreaded feel of claustrophobia that really works for the film. The script is good, it does not waste too much time on characterization, as this is a plot driven film and everything hinges on the action coming fast and furious. The best character in the film is by far Tarver, the android. He has the best lines and the best action sequences too. Darian, the captain of the Pandora is a very well drawn heroine too. The script shows both her strengths and her weaknesses and really shows that the reason she is in charge is that she will do whatever it takes to achieve her goals. The cast is good, with the best performance being given by genre stalwart Railsback. This was by far the best thing I have seen him do since Ed Gein. He has a great sense of timing with his lines and his mannerisms as Tarver are right on point. Zibolis is also very good as Captain Darian, the viewer feels her predicament and roots for her during the climactic moments hoping that she will prevail. The SFX and effects are very good. I especially liked the prosthetic looks of the zombies and the initial transformation of the first one, Nola. It was very gruesome and effective. There is much blood splattered throughout the film and if you are a gore hound like me, you will really appreciate that. This is a fun SF/horror hybrid that will not disappoint. If you like those old New World films like this, check it out.
This one gets 3 out of 5